Toolstation NCEL Premier Division
Shane Kelsey believes the current Hemsworth Miners Welfare players are capable of pulling the team out of its current predicament.
The new Wells manager – whose first official match in charge is tonight against Goole AFC in Fitzwilliam – inherits a side bottom of the table and winless after seven matches.
Pulling themselves out of trouble is the first target for Kelsey who is hopeful he does not have to perform a major overhaul of the squad.
“You have to realistic and everyone around the club has to be realistic, the league doesn’t lie,” Kelsey told Non League Yorkshire.
“The team is propping up the table and the first aim is to be retain our league status.
“Until that goal is achieved that is the aim.
“But if it becomes clear in a few weeks or months in the season that is going to be a good possibility you set more targets and goals and move towards them.
“I don’t think there is a great deal to be done in terms of recruitment if the players rise to the challenge and understand the reality of the position they are in and buy into what I’m about.
“You look at some of the names in the squad, they are good and established NCEL Prem and above players.
“I think it comes down to confidence and working to the main basics of graft and hard work which will get the fans back on side.
“You will then have something to work with, with a backing that is second to none that could help win 10 or 12 extra points a season.”
The fans are one of the factors why Kelsey returned to Fitzwilliam to be the chosen one following Luke Danville and Luke Potter’s decisions to step down as joint managers.
“Two of the reasons I found it attractive – a, the facilities and b, the fan-base because you don’t get any better,” he said.
“You’ve been there many times on a Tuesday night and it can be hostile.
“Those fans are the difference between for defending a 1-0 lead or nicking a last minute equaliser or win.
“For some reason or another that link and the bond between team and the fans has not been as successful in terms of results over the last few months.
“But if we can establish that link and connection between the players and fans it can be a massive pull.
“The chance to do that was a big factor in me accepting the job.”
Kelsey experienced the Wells experience during his proper final hurrah as a player during the 2016/17 season when he helped Wayne Benn’s young pretenders win the Division One title at a canter.
“To help those youngsters (win it) is really up there with the best seasons I had,” he said.
“To do it with such a young squad and with the nucleus of the squad staying together from the start to the finish was a magnificent achievement.
“That was down to the close bond of the team – they were all friends and they all drank and went out together.
“They sat with the fans and the fans were their mates and there was a real connection and bond there around the club.
“That was nice to be a part of it when I was a veteran!
“It was nice to share it with my son who at the time was starting to understand what it means to have friends around football.
“That will live with us for a long time.”
His appointment at Hemsworth came over two weeks after his exit from Athersley Rec.
Kelsey had bravely fought hard to keep the Rec competitive despite no playing budget but he felt after the 4-3 defeat to Albion Sports on Saturday 21st August that he had taken them as as far as he could.
“People can be selfish and do things for their own good and own benefit and you have to establish when you’ve reached a point where you’re doing no good for yourself or the club,” he said.
“Once you have reached that point you have to be brave and honest enough to make the right call.
“My personal feeling was that it needed a fresh set of eyes, fresh set of enthusiasm from a new coaching team and a new contacts list.
“Over the two years my favours had been used up with managers and when you’ve exhausted all avenues it is difficult to do anything else.
“Managing with no budget is near on impossible in this league.”
The Hemsworth post became vacant several days later but Kelsey did not apply.
However, Hemsworth targeted him as a leading contender and approached him.
“It is always nice and there is nothing more satisfying when somebody wants you,” he said.
“When you look at it on paper and from the outside looking in, people would say ‘are you nuts, this man’s win percentage is terrible, put his CV in the bin’.
“Thankfully people who know me know what I did behind the scenes (at Athersley) and what I put in and the unselfish hours I’ve put in that have been detriment to my personal life.
“The people who know me at Hemsworth have seen the good I’ve done and decided that I was worth contacting.
“I always say to people that whether you are interested in something or not that you should give them the courtesy to sit down and talk because they have taken the time to reach out to you.
“We sat down and people liked what I had done and what they heard from me and vice-versa.
“I always said when I got into the management side of the game that there was only a handful of clubs that I’d entertain and those are clubs who have been part of my playing career and given me most happiest to a certain extent.
“Out of those four sides, three of them are not in existence.
“It was quite lucky that the last team knocking about was Hemsworth.
“Ossett Town and Ossett Albion are no more and Shaw Lane are no more.
“Either it is very lucky on my part or Hemsworth are taking an absolute massive gamble!”
If you have enjoyed reading Non League Yorkshire over the past few months, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page. There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.
NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams.
Our work is playing an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.
We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.
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